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The Opposition - AFC Bournemouth

15 January 2015

Here we take a look over the Millers opposition this weekend...

This weekend the Millers welcome AFC Bournemouth to the AESSEAL New York Stadium for the second time in a month after the recent FA Cup meeting. The Cherries currently sit top of the Sky Bet Championship table and look set to be involved in a battle for promotion as we enter the second half of the season. Here we take a closer look at the Millers opposition this weekend. 

Recent form

Bournemouth fell to their first defeat in 15 league outings last weekend after losing 2-1 to Norwich City. However, prior to that the Cherries last league defeat was all the way back in September when they were beaten by fellow promotion challengers Derby County. The Cherries enjoyed a perfect Christmas period in the Championship, having managed to win all five of their league fixtures in December against Wolves, Cardiff, Blackpool, Fulham and Millwall. They did however lose in the Capital One Cup in December. Despite a valiant effort, the Cherries were beaten 3-1 by Liverpool in the quarter final. 

Key players

Callum Wilson has been the main source of goals for Bournemouth this season, notching up an impressive 13 goals in all competitions so far. The striker, who has made the step up from League One this season after signing from Coventry City, has been on something of a barren spell recently by his standards after failing to score in his last three appearances. His last goal came in Bournemouth’s crushing 6-1 victory away at Blackpool mid-December.

Matt Ritchie is Bournemouth’s other stand out performer of the season so far. The midfielder is the main creative spark in a talented Cherries midfield, and leads the Championship assist charts this season with 11. Ritchie has also weighed in with seven goals so far, including the Cherries only goal in last weekend’s 2-1 defeat to Norwich. Bournemouth will be looking to him to unlock the Millers defence. 

The manager 

Eddie Howe has enjoyed a sensational return to AFC Bournemouth following on from a spell at Burnley. Howe dropped out of the Championship for a season to return to manage the Cherries in League One and got them promoted in his first season. Since then Howe has led the south coast club to a first quarter final of a major cup competition and a club record 8-0 victory over Birmingham City, as well as helping them to the top of the Championship table. 

Howe has brought a fast paced attacking philosophy to the Goldsands Stadium, with his team scoring goals for fun at times. They have scored four or more goals in five games already this season and are currently the top scorers in the division. Despite only being 37, Howe has already taken charge of over 300 games in his career and he certainly looks to have a bright future in management. 

Previous meetings

Millers fans will want to forget the last time the two clubs met after Bournemouth beat Rotherham 5-1 at the New York Stadium earlier this month in the FA Cup. However earlier this season in the Championship the two sides shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw at the Goldsands Stadium. Steve Cook had given Bournemouth the lead after an hour, but the Millers rescued a late draw when Jordan Bowery struck in the 90th minute. Bournemouth are unbeaten in their last four fixtures against the Millers.

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